There’s no doubt that SEO is a powerful tool that can increase the visibility of your small business website in organic search results.
However, it’s a mistake to see enhanced visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as your ultimate end goal.
You see it’s one thing to attract more traffic to your website, but if that traffic doesn’t convert – how valuable is it really?
Many businesses fall into the trap of using SEO in isolation to increase their organic visitor stats. Do this, and you’re missing out. That’s because SEO is far more powerful when you integrate it into your inbound marketing strategy and use it as a tool to influence your conversion rate.
Want to know how to achieve this?
Read on and I’ll reveal all…
The secret is to discover your niche
If you slice up your industry and proactively own a small sector of it, you’re harnessing the benefits of niche marketing.
Now, most business owners won’t do this because they worry about losing out on web traffic.
But I think this thinking is flawed. You see if you run a small business you can’t possibly appeal to everyone. And if you try to you only end up targeting the same, highly competitive keywords as all your competitors.
In comparison, whilst a highly focused SEO campaign may REDUCE your overall visitor numbers, the traffic you do receive is more quality and therefore more likely to convert.
And that’s not the only benefit. Here are five others:
1. Satisfy Google
Google loves highly focused websites.
The reason is obvious if you remember Google’s objective is to return highly relevant results in response to people’s search queries.
Let’s say you’re looking for an authentic Italian restaurant in Peterborough. You’ll be more satisfied if you find Giuseppe’s Traditional Pizzeria rather than a big brand such as Pizza Hut or Ask. And the same applies to your business sector. If you appeal to a niche, you’ll automatically be highly relevant to the type of customer searching for products or services within that niche.
2. Reduce your competition
If you’re targeting very general industry keywords such as “copywriter”, “graphic designer” or “accountant” you’re going to face enormous competition and find it much more challenging (or even impossible) to hit page 1 of Google.
In comparison, if you own a niche, your targeted keyword phrases will inevitably become more specific. What’s more, you’ll no longer need to compete for the highly competitive generic terms but can instead focus in on a collection of long-tail keywords that will give you a much greater chance of ranking on that all-important first page.
3. Increase your conversion rate
We’ve alluded to this but working within a niche is going to increase your conversion rate.
You see if you have a very wide, general appeal a large proportion of visitors to your website won’t be the sort of customer / client you can help.
In turn, they’re more likely to leave quickly because they haven’t found what they’re looking for. What’s more there’s a risk they may exit immediately which could cause havoc with your bounce rate.
In comparison, if a visitor finds your website through a more detailed, specific search query, they’re likely to stay longer because you’ll be a better match.
What’s more, because you know your niche, you can tightly hone your content. Again instead of publishing generic industry information, you can closely focus on what your target customer wants to read and create relevant blog posts, FAQ pages and other website pages that speak to them. In turn, your bounce rate will reduce as visitors find what they’re looking for and stick around to discover more.
4. Enhance your competitive advantage
Customers will always prefer to work with a recognised expert as opposed to a general salesperson. And once you own a niche, you’ll find your credibility will automatically increase.
For example, if you’re looking for a professional family portrait photographer, you’re more likely to choose a portrait specialist as opposed to a photographer who does everything including weddings, commercial shoots, corporate shots and events.
5. Communicate a coherent message to your customers
Finally, owning a niche enables you to ensure all your content supports your one key message.
For example your content, keywords, blog posts and social media updates can all be tailored and targeted to appeal to your customer avatar.
It means you’ll ensure people “get “ what you do – immediately. And as such your success rate will soar.
Embrace the niche strategy and grow your business
The hardest part about succeeding with this strategy is to get clear on where your niche is. Here are just five ideas to help you find it…
- Own a geographical location
- Focus on a particular type of client / customer (for example, an accountant may specialise in helping mumpreneurs)
- Specialise in a specific area of work (for example, a photographer may specialise in photographing women)
- Promote your personality – this is often a key differentiator that can help you stand out
- Ask your existing customers what they love about you the most (you may be surprised)
Over to you…
What do you think?
How are you harnessing a niche to ensure you get better results from your SEO strategy? Please let me know in the comments below.
And if you think this would be helpful to your audience please share it too – thank you.
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Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
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